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Speech: Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020. The bill extends the prescribed period of operations for the coronavirus payment framework, which allows JobKeeper to be extended until March of next year. It also enables the ATO to share some JobKeeper payment information with the Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies. The bill extends the temporary JobKeeper fair work provisions in part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act, except for those relating to annual leave, until next March.

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Amendments: Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020

(21:18): I rise on behalf of the Greens to support the Labor amendment. This amendment removes the new category of legacy employers. These are employers who are no longer eligible for JobKeeper, but they will still be able to use the flexibility measures, such as reducing workers' hours by up to 40 per cent and changing dates, locations and shift times.

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Motion: Paid Pandemic Leave

The Greens support the motion. Paid pandemic leave should be for all workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the profound precariousness and inequality that exists in workplaces. No-one—not a single person—should be forced to choose between protecting their health and the health of those around them and being plunged into economic hardship, yet this is the exact situation many workers find themselves in. The government needs to support workers and guarantee and fund a safety net so all workers have access to at least 14 days of paid pandemic leave. This needs to happen right now.

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Speech: Paid Pandemic Leave

I rise to speak to the Australian Greens Fair Work Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020 that I introduced in the Senate during the last sitting. This bill will protect all workers during the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are living through unprecedented times—I don't know how many people have said that or how many times, but it is true: COVID-19 is drastically changing our way of life. This is a global health crisis with no-one left untouched by its impacts. This is a difficult time for all of us, there's no doubt. This is a strange time. This is not a normal time.

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Pandemic Leave desperately needed with a quarter of South Aussie workers having no leave entitlement

Greens Senator for South Australia Sarah Hanson-Young has called for South Australia to be included in the Federal Government’s Paid Pandemic Leave scheme, with ABS data revealing 186,000 South Australian workers have no leave entitlements.
Senator Hanson-Young has written to SA Premier Steven Marshall asking him to make the request to the PM to add the tool of paid pandemic leave to SA’s arsenal in the fight against Covid19.

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National sick leave vital as COVID containment remains precarious: Bandt

As new infections increase again with many happening at workplaces, the Greens say there is new urgency to give every worker 14 days COVID sick leave, especially for the millions of Australians without any sick leave at all.

The ACTU has backed national sick leave, the Greens have a bill before parliament for 14 days’ COVID sick leave and the Greens will raise the issue at the COVID Senate committee hearings tomorrow.

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Motion: Unemployment

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) between World War 2 and the 1970s, the average unemployment rate was 2%, and

   (ii) since the 1980s, 5% unemployment has been considered 'full employment' by most governments, even though it means hundreds of thousands more people either have no work or not enough work; and

(b) considers that:

   (i) 'full employment' should mean what most people think it means, namely that everyone who wants a job can get one, and

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